We aimed to explore whether a migraine with aura (MA) is associated with structural changes in tracts of a white matter and to compare parameters of diffusivity between subgroups in migraineurs. Forty-three MA and 20 healthy subjects (HS), balanced by sex and age, were selected for this study. Analysis of diffusion tensor parameters was used to identify differences between MA patients and HS, and then between MA subgroups. A diffusion tensor probabilistic tractography analysis showed that there is no difference between MA patients and HS. However, using more-liberal uncorrected statistical threshold, we noted a trend in MA patients toward lower diffusivity indices of selected white matter tracts located in the forceps minor and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), superior longitudinal fasciculus (temporal part) (SLFT), cingulum-cingulate tract, and left uncinate fasciculus. Migraineurs who experienced somatosensory and dysphasic aura, besides visual symptoms, had tendency toward lower diffusivity indices, relative to migraineurs who experienced only visual symptoms, in the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus, forceps minor, and right superior longitudinal fasciculus (parietal part), SLFT, and cingulum-angular bundle. Aura frequency were negatively correlated with axial diffusivity and mean diffusivity of the right ATR (partial correlation = − 0.474; p = 0.002; partial correlation = − 0.460; p = 0.002), respectively. There were no significant differences between MA patients and HS, neither between MA subgroups. Migraineurs with abundant symptoms during the aura possibly have more myelinated fibers relative to those who experience only visual symptoms. Lower diffusivity indices of the right ATR are linked to more frequent migraine with aura attacks.
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We thank Snezana Dikic for excellent technical MR scanning skills.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: IP and MD received research grant support from the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Serbia (project no. III 41005), and JZT received research grant support from the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Serbia (project no. 175022).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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